Chapter 1

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A Slice of Life Romantic Comedy

by H.



This book is dedicated to my husband, my best friend, my home. Thank you for taming me with unconditional love and patience.



"Be with someone who loves you harder on the days you can't love yourself at all."


Chapter 1:


People get offended so easily.

Take, for example, this fancy boy next to me in his shiny red, midlife crisis car. He's flailing his arms and shouting at me as if I can hear him over my blasting music. Did I cut this guy off? Maybe. I have no idea. But I'm late for work and need to concentrate on weaving through this traffic.

My rare appointment with a nightclub later can't come soon enough. All this stress is—

A flash of a blue sweater catches my attention. PEDESTRIAN!

"I'm so sorry!" I slam the brakes and screech to a halt, hands raised in apology. The woman's eyes are wide as they stare back at me, her entire life probably flashing before them. There should really be a broadcast announcement when I get on the road.

Parking at a worn out structure of Antrio University, I rush to the Psychology building to meet the head of faculty, my new boss. In just a few days, I'll be teaching here as the youngest Associate Professor in this university's history.

The leaves crush beneath my heels as I scurry against the wind, trying to ignore the way it cuts through my sweater and freezes my bones. As if the bipolar sun isn't going to be blazing in a couple of hours. November in California, ladies and gentlemen.

"Good evening, Dr. Dennis." I beam at my boss upon entering his office.

My mentor, a shriveled-looking man, takes off his glasses to rub his tired eyes as he addresses me. "How was the drive here?"

"Oh you know..." I wave him off, but he's already exiting his office and leading me down the hall. "An appointment with a patient ran a bit overtime so I had to rush here, but I'm not late! So all good."

"I see...but you're still confident in your ability to do this while holding a second job?"

"Of course, being a therapist is perfect for teaching trauma." I smile at him. "I get to be hands on about what I teach, plus I love it."

Plus, you don't pay me enough.

We finally stop in front of an aged, jade-colored door. He hands me a bronze key. "This office is officially yours. Congratulations."

I thank him for the millionth time and snatch the keys, doing my best to not shove the door open and cartwheel inside. This is what I've been working toward for the last six years-

The stench of rotten food assaults my nose. Then I see the wreckage. "This is shit."

Inside the dim office, there's open folders, sheets of papers, and stained paper cups skewed throughout. An overflowing trash can sits beside an ugly rosewood desk positioned front and center.

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